Wendy Clifford and Nathan Seaward: Getting your Legal Affairs in Order

The speakers for the February Probus meeting were two lawyers from Nanaimo, Nathan Seaward and Wendy Clifford of Heath Law LLP.  They explored with us the complex topics of Powers of Attorney, Representation Agreements and Medical Assistance in Dying.

Nathan, formerly a massage therapist and a small business owner, joined with Wendy at Heath Law in 2016.  His topic, Powers of Attorney, was not only important but much more complex than we had imagined. He spoke of the requirements that need to be fulfilled in order to be someone’s power of attorney, the different types, and very importantly their limitations and end points. It was interesting to learn that we can have a different power of attorney for a specific area with strict limits or a completely general one that covers everything except making our will.

Wendy, having practiced law for 29 years, merged her practice with Heath Law in 1999. She covered two topics, Representation Agreements and Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID).  Again we learned who can and who cannot be named in our Representation Agreement, what its limitations are and when its effectiveness is ended. Her second topic certainly answered the question MAID – “What’s it all about and what’s happening out there?” After an extensive history of court challenges, MAID is now a labyrinth of federal and provincial laws and regulations that are so very new and very incomplete.

On a personal note, I found an opinion survey and a method of making your opinions known to politicians and ministers on the Canadian website for “Dying with Dignity”.

by Sharon Seibt

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